What Is An Appeal?
An appeal is a filing with a court with authority to review a lower court’s actions in a case, believed to have been taken in error.
What Are The Most Common Reasons Appeals Are Filed?
Most commonly, in criminal appeals a defendant has lost at trial, and asks the appellate court to overturn the verdict because of irregularities that occurred that affected the jury’s verdict.
What Types Of Criminal Convictions Do You Handle In Appeals Cases?
I handle all types of convictions on appeal, from misdemeanors to felonies.
What Qualifies For An Appeal?
Generally, there must be an appropriate ground from which to appeal. For example, a defendant whose plea is properly entered and is sentenced according to the law, who then has a change of heart and wants to appeal the sentence, does not have appropriate grounds to appeal. Also, if a trial is conducted properly, all rulings made by the trial court were valid, the jury returned a guilty verdict, and the judge sentenced the defendant lawfully, a defendant may be a circumstance where there also are no legal grounds to enter an appeal. Many times, however, a client will not know about legal issues that can be pursued on appeal until a transcript of the trial is made and thoroughly reviewed for error. Thus, a client is usually best served by at least having an appellate attorney review their case to see if an appeal can be taken.
Are There Any Convictions That Can’t Ever Be Appealed?
While any case may have a notice of appeal filed, again, if there are insufficient grounds for appeal the appeal may be summarily dismissed. If any attorney is appointed to appeal a case and after reviewing everything finds no legally justifiable reason for appeal, that attorney may file what is known as an “Anders” brief, outlining for the appellate court anything in the case that might even remotely be in question, and then ask for withdrawal from further representation.
Also, a conviction based upon a properly entered voluntary plea and a legitimate, legally imposed sentence would provide no legitimate legal basis to appeal.
What Makes A Good Case For An Appeal vs. One That Probably Won’t Be Eligible?
Whether mistakes are reflected in the record. For instance, if the judge ruled inappropriately on a substantial issue. Or perhaps evidence was excluded that should have been seen or heard by the jury; or similarly, if evidence was introduced before the jury that should have been excluded. Any of the foregoing examples would provide for appellate review and legitimate grounds to appeal.
Can You Appeal A Case Where You Plead Guilty?
Rarely. Of course, a defendant may bring a “collateral attack” on the conviction, if the defense lawyer provided ineffective assistance of counsel in some fashion that substantially affected the outcome of the case. In Florida state court, such a claim is normally made by filing a petition pursuant to Florida Criminal Procedure Rule 3.850.
Of course, if the sentence given is illegitimate for some reason, a defendant also has the ability to ask for review by filing a motion to correct a sentence. The grounds and procedure for such a motion are found at Florida Criminal Procedure Rule 3.800.
What Steps Must A Person Follow To Appeal A Prior Court Conviction?
Most importantly, the individual desiring to appeal needs to alert their attorney of that desire, so that the attorney can file a notice of appeal on the client’s behalf. Once the time for filing an appeal expires, so does the right to appeal, unless an appellate court agrees to allow a defendant to file a late, “belated” appeal. A right to file a belated appeal will not be granted unless good cause exists for the late filing. One example is the incarcerated defendant who makes a request of his attorney to file an appeal and the attorney failing to do so.
For more information on Criminal Appeal In Florida, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Regardless of whether you or your loved one has been arrested in Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, Okeechobee, or any area within Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee or Indian River counties, attorney T. Charles Shafer is here to provide aggressive, hardworking representation.
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